For those of you who are parents, you know that losing a child is the worst kind of tragedy you could suffer. What if it was the courts that were telling you that your child had to die? That’s what happened to Connie Yates and Chris Gard. If you’ve been keeping up with this case, you know that the parents were fighting for the right to their son’s life, and sadly, it didn’t end the way they had hoped. After fighting with the courts for endless months to keep their son alive, little Charlie Gard passed away last Friday in the care of hospice.Charlie’s parents spent his last five hours of life letting him know how much he was loved. With gentle kisses, the parents said goodbye, as the ventilator was removed.
Charlie appeared to be a normal, healthy baby before horror struck the family. At just three months old, Charlie was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome, a disease that starves the vital organs and muscles of energy.
Charlie was such a special boy, with an especially rare disease. A disease so rare, that he was the 16th person ever diagnosed with it.
The parents wanted to take Charlie to the United States to receive treatment. The doctors involved told the courts that the treatment would have no effect on Charlie’s quality of life.
Going in between court dates, and the hospital, Charlie’s parents stayed in a residence near the hospital. Not knowing how much time Charlie had on this Earth, every kiss was a treasured one.
Doctors reported that Charlie didn’t respond to anything, when his parents knew different. The parents believe a part of the problem was that doctors who rarely saw Charlie were the ones speaking for him.
With Charlie’s toy monkey tucked into his pocket, Chris Gard makes his way into one of many court hearings to fight for his son’s life. After the court ruled that Charlie couldn’t go to the United States, all they wanted for Charlie was to be able to bring him home.
The parents never imagined that they would watch their child die. Even worse, they never imagined they’d have to fight with doctors and courts to keep him alive.
Surrounded by his monkey toys, and lots of love, Charlie’s father holds his tiny hand. After everything they had been through, they just wanted to bring their little one home, to die in peace.
With less than 24 hours left to spend with Charlie, his parents were able to bring Charlie for a walk while at hospice. His parents spent months fighting with the courts to be able to share moments like this.
The five hours they were given to say goodbye went by in a flash. A hospital staff member removed his ventilator, and on Friday, after twelve minutes, Charlie took his last breath.
After Charlie’s passing, with the tubes removed, his parents got to hold their beautiful little boy. Their fight was over.
The parents weren’t ready to say goodbye to their son, so the nurse offered something they never thought they’d agree to. They would finally get to bring Charlie home.
Although it was not the way they had been hoping for, they put Charlie in the car to make the journey home. His little body was still warm when they walked through the front door.
Being kept preserved in the “cuddle cot,” Charlie’s parents were able to spend the much needed time alone with their baby boy. At first they thought it might be odd, but they soon realized that doing this was a comfort that they had needed for so long.
Although they feel that their rights to their child were taken away from them, the parents feel no anger towards the hospital. They never felt that the hospital staff was against them at any point.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates suffered a tragedy, but they’re using this to help others. They’ve set up a foundation in Charlie’s name to help parents that find themselves in the position of having to take their child off of life support.